Shatter

It’s been a long hot day, the kind that melts little pools of sweat along the collarbone and hangs in your throat like the imminent threat of suffocation. The truth is it’s been actual hell for decades and most of the time you can keep it together but not tonight. Tonight it’s all too heavy. All the ache in your chest from one day after another, each the crying same, all the useless steps to nowhere in particular, one foot in front of the other, the other, the other. The buzz of electric wires sizzling beneath white summer heat lightning, cicadas vibrating in the damp grass, the crackling static coming from the neighbor’s old television set as they watch some fuzzy black and white flick, has us both delirious with need.  We’ve been drinking tequila since you got home from work and you crush your cigarette into an old faded shot glass with the Vegas strip etched along the side. When you press your fingers against my neck I fall still underneath your gaze, motionless, patient as a fragile animal who instinctively trusts the hand she prays will feed it. I watch your face as you move your mouth around words that sound like a song soft enough to be whispered to a child who is frightened of the night for reasons she cannot speak about, only run from in the manic flash of dreams. Wolves. Forests. Chain link fences. Spreading my arms out above my head, I’m floating in a sea of stars spinning in slow circles atop the blackness.  You tell me to close my eyes as you sink your burning fingers into the river of my body, and as I open to offer you the entire universe I carry within me, you tell me even my most vivid desires are only imagination.  That the world we inhabit between us is a world conjured from nothing but the purest of devotions which can never be held onto, nothing that will last beyond the glimmer of the dewy garden weeping at dawn. That I have nothing to fear as long as I remember this.  Without these bodies, the hands and mouths we become in forbidden moments like these; without the pleasure we deny and offer each other, without the distraction we deliver to one another, we are nothing but a beautiful, unbearable tragedy. Your voice drifts in and out of my consciousness as I slip deeper in to the cyclical motion and become one with whatever the grand scheme of all transient things is meant to be.  The rhythm of your gentle stroking aligns my body with the moonlight and all the oceans on all of the planets waiting out there yet to be discovered syncopate their tides to the sweet pain of our perfect little private destruction. I seep into the cosmic vastness, sated and not afraid of anything.  For a precious sliver of a time I don’t even deserve, I am held and safe and I know for certain this is what death must feel like: the emptiness of endlessness without the fear.

// Self Reflected //

Maybe I should have spent more time worrying less about time. Maybe the things we waste sweaty nights and crying dawns raging about are just a handful of gory jokes offered up to the maniacal gods like mandarin sunsets that bleed from the open wounds of missing someone who has been taken away from you too soon. Maybe I write too much about loss and feeling left behind but what is more real than the cuts of separation, what is more beautiful than tracing the steps we should have taken in reverse.

Tears are the sickest sweetness. Hearts are the purplest greed.

I can taste spring on the lips of winter and in the face of the sky I can see the memories of the man in the moon, who grows tired alone. Planets and stars all burning out in soft lavender trails, no more hills, nothing left to climb.

What will become of the way we are, who will remember what we said in the fields. All these screams rising up from the tortured earth. Butterflies are messengers sent from another world. There must be someone up above, this is what they offer me like warm milk, and I sift in and out of believing. I breathe in hungrily and take this strange life for granted. I do it as I run the bath, I do it as I pour the drinks into crystal glasses of oblivion (take this cup away from me, take this chalice from my lips), I do it as you speak and I try but am unable to listen.

I love you and you are lovely and love is everywhere but I’m on the outside because I am the carrier of anger and I am a collection of ways to be torn apart, and my smile fell away from my bones a while back, and no one can see except these pages.

And so I give them everything. I come into the silence to bleed.

And all they ever give is the light reflected into the darkness.

All they ever give is myself back to me.

.

.

// Darkness Falls //

I didn’t want it to be like this
you hanging by your teeth from my breast
and my not wanting to kiss you.
How the being of neglect walks alone through the hills
black cloaks and woodland creatures falling all around
my feet

the birds have come to nest
the birds have come to die

for lack of air in my lungs.
I could watch you spinning for as long as it takes
to stand the earth still
and freeze the clouds overhead in place,

write to me of the darkness you see. I want
to read the words you choose.

I bathe in cool darkness,
shower and dress and tug at my
neck
in darkness

line my lips and my eyes and stain my cheeks
with the smut and the ink

of the darkness in which
we dare not between us
speak.

.

.

// This Chaos It Suits You //

Morning rain is gentle and steady upon my face as I huddle into myself, thankful finally for a day without sun. For the most part, I find daylight too harsh. It interrupts my sense of what is beautiful. Who could I ever tell that shadows help me find the most dazzling silhouettes of light.

My mind is wandering (which, really, sounds too calm because my mind, she whirrs and trips over herself and cascades to places I would rather not say). I do not speak the way I am supposed to, I speak too much like fire and ice and volcanoes. I do not understand the language of the stars which birthed me. I do not speak words bred of tenderness anymore without turning this tongue into blades.

Rewards become punishments.

To sink is to swim.

It’s now and it’s never and it’s always in-between.

If I lose track of who is winning will you still let me in? I get so tired of keeping score. I get so sick of counting doors along hallways which never seem to end.  (What are we counting for?)

All these floors hidden underneath the scaffolding around your heart, all these thick windows which slip away from me fall and crash and descend as I am cut, I am bruised, I am a shattered face on the inside of the muse.

But if I look deep enough, there is you. And you just keep rising up and up above dark clouds and I wonder why we try any more to place these blistered feet upon the ground. Will you run, will you stay, will you break as I have. Who will save us now when the walls are oceans splitting in half.

As I write this, all the lives I have since let go of drift off and I remember a time when I mistook the perfume of your secrets for nourishment. You who collects hearts in mouths and swallows their tears one by one, slow.

You the one who digs the claws of adoration in like furious flashes of heat across the summer lightning in my veins, you could have me and it breaks my heart you don’t want me anymore. When exactly does that shift? What rock face crumbles away from my self disclosure against which you suddenly decide if this is madness it suits me, not you.

And somehow the chaos appears to reduce you only slightly.

And somehow I have become the one fading from view.

.

.

// The Lives We (Do Not) Live //

As I am writing this to you
another life curls herself
against my spine,
she whispers into someone else’s
ears, I mistake them

for my own.

I confuse our turning
toward one another

or away?

The life I have chosen

blooms upon
my chest
as the one which haunts me
stands beside us
always

still.

.

.

// The Bluebruised Heart //

I had tried to speak to you
but the trains all fell from their tracks
and the sky seemed to bleed
its bluebruised heart

between the words in my mind
and the numbness which
grabbed stiff hold of
my tongue.

So if you could just be patient
and not give up on not
letting go
I swear I will be coming home

and it will be so soon
and it will be so crushingly beautiful

like our toes in the
dunegrass and the tiny birds running
along the ocean sunlight
sing.

I know that right now it is quiet
in the night
as you feel the heat
sloping itself through open summer
windows.

Tender sweat has dampened your
alabaster skin
like tears
a whole body cries.

I know the silence hurts more than
any other
sound.
But please remember

I am still here, my angel.

In the stillness of the moonlight
in the handwritten pages
you hold to your
chest.
In between your sweet breathing

and your bothered
fitful dreaming,
you and I
through all the words and beyond them,

and beyond them
even
still

we are forever bound.

.

.

// Sorrow In the Eyes of Them //

Would you let me take you by
the hold of both hands,
by the moonlight falling
clear through two expectant eyes.

May I touch you here
in the dark, two lips heartstained.
Where what stings melts its pain into summer.
Where all that crawls crippled within

turns on its side
and opens its mouth
again
for sun.

.

.

// (Dis)Obedience //

We wait
we are so very pretty
in our waiting.

Cross your fingers,

hold your breath,

remove your

eyes.

There is a gnawing in my cheeks which
never stops, it is keeping sound
with the rippling in my
water glass, it is
waiting for the other

shoe to drop.

And as the sky turns to blood
and trickles down the insides
of my thighs like
sandpaper before the wallpaint
even dries,
we do believe

what we are told.

Sitting for portraits,
sitting for decades, sitting for
no one.

We are so very pretty
growing old.

.

.

 

// Thoughts In the Floorboards Underneath My Bed with Monsters //

This is the space I hold and release between us. It is old and broken wood,
the smell of dark cherries and wine.

Fear from me
is separate,
of joy and sorrow,
I am twice removed.

A round room encircles
a cage which encircles
two birds as they are made to
adapt.

Blind is not blind in the way you listen, from the heart.
The seed contains the tree.

No eyes. Look here: no hands.

You track mud across
my mind
and I have come forward alone

to plant
and grow clouds among the weeds.

Still shine.

What worlds you open into that look in your eyes,
hand over hands held in mine.

We walk through rivers made of streets
moving, windspans underneath the wings
of concrete and glass, shattered collisions
glistenwhite in flight.

Warm blanketing creased faces;
all creatures aware of the dark

will turn themselves

to light.

.

.